Trancendental Holi in Vrindavan
I see that some of you have many colors on your faces and cloths. Today is also the celebration of holi. Holi is one of the very beautiful meditations on the pastime of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You see unfortunately those things are most sacred and pure. In course of time they become degraded and people perceive these things simply as something for their sense enjoyment. Most of the people the way they celebrate in the cities is the just compete throwing colors, simply as a game for fun. About one fourth of the population having fun and other three fourth are harrassed. That’s the way it is? How many you have fun raise your hand? How many have harrassed? Of course if you have understand the real significance of , you will not have only fun. But you will be in bliss and you will not be harrassed. Because this is one of the most beautiful and pleasing pastimes of Vrindavana.
It is described that the sweetness of the relationships of the Lord and His devotees is the various wonderful ways in which they exchange the love they have for one another. Because in the spiritual world there is nothing that takes place save and except the exchange of love. Now of course you know about Krishna’s rasa lila. How Krishna intimately exchange love with the gopies, by dancing with them, how he expanded himself in and between each and every gopi so that each one was thinking that Krishna has selected to only me amongst all others. When Krishna was with the cowherd boys, often they would play many games. But would not been a mood of competition. You see in material worlds sports, which are perverted reflection of the sports of the spiritual world. The people compete. Basically the people play sports today, for one of two reasons. Either they have a very gigantic false ego, they want to win or they just want out of false ego, they want to have very strong healthy body. But actually in the spiritual world they would play sports. They would play games. But the idea is to give pleasure to others, not to defeat other to give pleasure to the others. Just like when Lord Sri Krishna would wrestle with his friends, if He knew that it would give more pleasure to His friends to win. He would purposefully lose just because His friend would be happy. But of course His friend, if he felt that it would make Krishna happy to win, he would loose. Someone would say that competition, who would to lose. Now sometimes if the friend felt that Krishna will get such satisfaction if I win, the friend will win just to give pleasure to Krishna. If he gives pleasure that Krishna for me to lose, I’ll lose. If it gives pleasure to Krishna for me tow win, I’ll win. In this way the only object is love. This is the way sports should actually be played on the spiritual platform. And in the spiritual world everything is sweet beautiful charming exchange of love.
One of the beautiful celebration is Holi. Holi is the day, it is described that Krishna and His friends the cowherd boys would approach Sri Radha Rani and her friends the gopis and they would begin to have little arguments. Simply to give pleasure to one another. They would start tease each other and after teasing one another, whatever they would say would just increase the ecstasy of the other. Then they would say, let us have a fight. In this fight we will exchange our love and we will see, who could give more love to the other. This was the idea. I’ll try to give more love to you and you try to give more love to me. Let’s see who wins. Now the exchange of love is out of love, they would give each other sweetmeats. Out of love they would flow flowers on each other and out of love they would throw colors on each other. And even squirt the colors on one another. The idea is, it was not done to defeat the other, it was done to please the other. They would have the sport of loving exchange and they would enjoy each others love. And of course, whenever they would have this divine lila, the gopis would always win. Krishna would always be defeated, why? Because love always defeats the beloved. Sri Radha rani and the gopis, they are the lovers and Lord Sri Krishna is the beloved. The competition between the lover and the beloved, the lover always defeats the beloved. Krishna is always defeated by the love of His devotees. And recently we would were in Varsana, where they celebrate holi and the people their, how they celebrate such an atmosphere of intimacy. They were meditating on Krishna’s lila. Someone comes up and with such love with almost tears and smile in their faces; they put the color on your head. And they would actually offering you this is the expression of my love for you. Then they hold the bag open and say now please you give me your love. Then you take this color and put it on his head. It is very sweet and very charming. This is holi. When we remember Krishna, it unifies us.
So someday perhaps we can close all the doors and celebrate holi in this humble and devotional manner. It is also described that on this night Prahlada Maharaja His father decided to burn him in the fire. And Prahlada’s sister was given a benediction; I believe it was from Agnideva that she would not be ever burnt by fire. So she would be able to sit in fire indefinitely and never get the slightest bit touched. So Hiranyakashipu told her that I want you to hold Prahlada in the fire until he burns to death. Hold him so he cannot escape. So she sat with Prahlada on her lap in the fire. And because Prahlada was always remembering Krishna, she burnt to death and he was completely untouched. So another aspect of this celebration of holi is celebrates how the lord under all circumstances protects his devotees. So these days we all have a very very beautiful spiritual theme and if we can meditate on this spiritual themes, it can really bring us together. United in the loving memory of Sri Krishna.
Lord Chaitanya’s appearance – Scriptural proof
Of course in this evening we are celebrating for the devotees of Gaudiya vaishnava sampradaya, it is the most sacred and auspicious of all evenings of the year. It is the evening of Gaura purnima. It is the night when Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna incarnated in this world in His most munificent and merciful of all incarnations, Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is accepted as the supreme lord Himself. Many people consider Lord Caitanya simply to be a great saint or a great devotee. But there are many many sashtras references, which declare Him to be the Yuga Avatar. The particular incarnation who appears in this age for the purpose of establishing the way of religion which is most practical for this time. In the Srimad Bhagavatam, in Mahabharata, in various places in Upanisadas and in the puranas.
There are many references describing Krishna appearing in this most wonderful form. I’ll explain just one reference. This is in the eleventh canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam. Maharaja Nimi of the great king of Mithila. He was visited by the nine Yogendras and the nine Yogendras, each of them individually spoke transcendental knowledge of pure devotion to god. And the last of the great sages was named Karabhajana and He began to explain to Maharaja Nimi, how the lord appears in different times and different places. He described that in Dvapara Yuga the supreme Lord Hari appears in a beautiful blackish complexion. And how in this beautiful blackish complexion, He teaches devotion to Himself. And then he explains
yajanti hi su-medhasaù”
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5
He says in Kali Yuga those who have good intelligence, they worship the supreme lord who appears, although He is blackish, He appears in non-blackish complexion. And He is always surrounded by His devotees and He has constantly chanting the holy names of the lord in congregation. And those intelligent persons should worship this beautiful form of the lord by congregationally chanting the holy names.
Some may say that certainly this indicates the Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Because it describes that He appears with His various associates and He is always in the congregational chanting of the holy name. But why do you say that non-blackish necessarily means gold? In the tenth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, it is described how Garaga Muni was sent by Vasudeva to the house of Nanda Maharaja to perform the name giving ceremony of the Lord Sri Krishna. And there he describes that your son has incarnated in this world in every Yuga for a divine purpose. In satya Yuga He appeared in a beautiful white complexion. In Tretya Yuga He appeared with the beautiful red complexion. He said, He also appears in a golden complexion and now He has appearing with the beautiful blackish complexion.
So he explained that in Satya Yuga He was white, in Tretya Yuag He was red, now in Dvapara Yuga He is black and also He comes in a golden complexion. So he was explaining the advent of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Now someone may ask, why is it that lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is explained indirectly? Why he does not say that Krishna appears as Lord Caitanya in Kali Yuga to teach to chanting of the holy name. How many people wander, why he does not say like that? Why it explains in very exactly but indirectly in a mystical way? I’ll explain according to Sashtra.
In the seventh canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, Prahlada Maharaja, he has glorifying lord Narasimhadeva. He said lord Narasimhadeva one of your beautiful name is Triyuga. In mahabharat it is also described that this is the one of the name of Vishnu, Triyuga. Triyuga means that you appeared in Three yugas. You appeared in Satya Yuga, You appeared in Tretya Yuga, and you appeared in Dwapara yuga but you do not appeared in Kali Yuga. Why is that? Because in Kali Yuga the Lord appears in a very different way. In the previous Yuga’s He appears as the Supreme Personality of Godhead as bhagavana. But in Kali Yuga He appears not as god, but He appears as God’s devotee. The supreme Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to teach us, how to surrender to Krishna. He appeared as His own devotee.
In Bhagavad-Gita Krishna made it very clear that instructions essential for all of us to know, how to surrender to Him.
mäm ekaà çaraëaà vraja”
Abandoned all varieties of religion and just surrender onto me. But in Kali Yuga practically no one knows how to follow that simple instruction. So therefore Krishna Himself appears to show us by His own example, how to surrender to Him. Just like sometimes a father he gives the son an instruction that when he sees that his son cannot follow it. He actually does it himself. Just like a teacher. The teacher has students and the teacher is saying now I want to draw “A” and he draws “A”. Now I want to draw “B” and the teacher draws “B”. Now I want to draw “C” and then the teacher draws “C”. Some one may think what this teacher is. This teacher is learning ABCs. She was doing what the students were supposed to do, to teach them how to do it. So Lord Sri Krishna Himself appeared in a disguise of a devotee to teach us to how to be a devotee. If He appeared as god there will be no question of instructing us, through His example.
So therefore Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not reveal to anyone that He was god, except those who were very very confidential associates, who already had pure devotion and love for Him. For the common message, He simply taught people to how to love god. You see the general condemnation due to the impersonal conception of philosophy is everyone wants to be god and so many teachers are teaching you that by following this spiritual process you can become god. And there are so many people who claim to be Bhagavana, claim to be god and claim that you can also be god. So Lord Caitanya in order to teach that a devotee never consider himself god in any circumstances. Nor does he ever want to be god, he simply wants to serve god with love. He conceals the fact that he is god. When someone would say at Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu that he is Krishna, he would hold His hands to His ears and He would says Vishnu, Vishnu, Vishnu please never call the living entity god. The living entity is always part of god. He is the eternal servant of the god. It is worse than poison to my heart to think that I could be god. I simply want to serve Him with love.
Now everyone knew He was god. How would he able to play this role. Therefore Vyasadeva who is none other than Lord Caitanya’s literary incarnation, specifically and personally concealed directly the fact that Lord Caitanya was God. So that He would not interfere with His lila of playing the part of a devotee. But after His incarnation then He was revealed, who He really was? Therefore it is described that Vedavyasa incarnated in two forms Vrindavanadas Thakur and Krishnadas kaviraja Gosvami and He was the compiler of Caitanya Bhagavat and Caitanya-caritamrita were reveal according to the evidence of all the revealed scriptures, how Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Lord Krishna Himself. Just see how He is teaching us by His example. How to be a devotee? So it is for this reason to assist and facilitate the divine and sublime purpose of Lord Caitanya’s mission that the explanation of this particular Yuga Avatar is presented very authoritatively but indirectly and on a mystical way.
Rarity of Lord Gaurasundar’s Appearance
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He appears very early. You see in every age there is a Yuga Avatar. In Kali Yuga there is no Yuga Avatar. That is meant – Yuga except once in very very rare occasions, just Krishna appears as Lord Caitanya as Yuga Avatar. It is described Yuga Avatar is common in every Yuga in every cycle except Kali. But Krishna Himself personally only comes once everyday of Brahma. Which is every 4.3 billion years. The advent of Krishna is very very rare in His original form and Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appears when Krishna appears. Therefore once in every 4.3 billions years, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appears as the Yuga Avatar in this age of Kali Yuga. Now considering He only appeared about 504 years ago, we are very fortunate. Just like our guru maharaja Srila Prabhupada his conception of time was so different than us. Just like some of us are about 40 years old, when we think of we did when we were in twenty, think oh, a long time is ago I was doing like this. But when Srila Prabhupada would discuss Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu he would say just very recently the Lord appeared as Caitanya Mahaprabhu. For those who are in the platform of eternal consciousness 504 years ago was very recently. It’s like a few minutes ago. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu appears in this very rare and special incarnation and He appears to provide for us the living example of how to live according to the essence of the scriptures in the Kali yuga.
Srimad Bhagavatam explains
“kaler doña-nidhe räjann
asti hy eko mahän guëaù
kértanäd eva kåñëasya
mukta-saìgaù paraà vrajet”
Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.51
This age of Kali Yuga is an ocean of faults.
manda-bhägyä hy upadrutäù”
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.10
People are spiritually very lazy. They are addicted to so many sinful activities. They are very unlucky. There is one benediction the ocean of faults in Kali Yuga that anyone in any condition of life if they simply chant the holy name of the lord; they will attain the supreme perfection of liberation. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu He would also quote the sloka from the Brihad Naradiya Purana.
“harer näma harer näma
harer nämaiva kevalam
kalau nästy eva nästy eva
nästy eva gatir anyathä”
In this age of Kali Yuga, there is no other practical way except the chanting of God’s name. Very empirically He declares this.
Appearance and Childhood pastimes
So in this auspicious night the Lord appeared along with His holy name. You see 504 years ago tonight when the full moon rose there was a lunar eclipse. Now there were many reasons, why there was a lunar eclipse. One is described when the pure spotless golden moon of Sri Gaurachandra was about to appear, what is the need of moon with all spots on it. So thinking like this Rahu covers the moon. But Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu had another very great reason. He wanted the world to know for ever that His advent was specifically for the purpose of inducing people to chant God’s name. You see during the lunar eclipse, it is consider most auspicious and most inauspicious. Any materialistic activities you perform during a lunar eclipse will very very badly contaminate you. For a materialistic the lunar eclipse is very inauspicious. But any one who chants the name of the god or engaged in spiritual activities during that time the benefits are multiplied greatly. So throughout India there was ritualistic conception. That at the time of lunar eclipse everyone would go to the sacred rivers and they would loudly chanting the holy names of the god. So at this time there were literally millions and millions of people going to the sacred rivers like Jamuna and Ganga and gathering together calling out in very loud tumultuous voices “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”. Calling out the beautiful sound of the God’s name. And it is described that even the atheist and even those who are not devotees of Krishna, when they would see all the Hindus chanting Hare Krishna, it was such a remarkable scene to be so many people chanting that the way of making a fun with them, they would also started chanting “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”. In this way everyone in all directions were vibrating the beautiful sound of God’s name.
At that most auspicious moment of the moon rise Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared. He appeared as the son of Jagannath Mishra and Sachidevi. When he was just an infant child, even then His greatest pleasure was inducing people to chant the holy names. It is described that when He would began to cry and people were very anxious to give Him something to pacify Him. Nobody like to see baby’s cry. Of course our guru maharaja used to say “what all Bengali man does not take pleasure in seeing Baby’s cry”. But most people do not like to see baby’s cry. Actually sometimes sannyasies do like to see the baby’s cry. One time Srila Prabhupada, he was with his disciple Shyamasundar and he had a little child named Saraswati, very little girl, very beautifully little bland hair blue eyed girl. They were in Jagannath Puri. They had a little room and was over a pond and they were on about the 3rd or 4th floor up. So Srila Prabhupada said Saraswati, can I throw you on this lake. Then she said no, no. He said, why do not you want to throw you on the lake. She said, no no Prabhupada. Then Srila Prabhupada said, Shyamasundar throw her in the lake. So Shyamasundar picked up her and held her, she started crying. Then Srila Prabhupada started laughing. Then Srila Prabhupada said you should learn how to cry for Krishna like she is crying. So in this way he gave a good example of how to chant the holy name.
When little Nimai when he started to cry, everyone were thinking, O’ my god. He is so beautiful. They called Him Gaura Hari because that He looked just like Lord Hari. But He had a beautiful golden complexion and we want to make Him happy with our life and soul. We all love Him, more than we love our own children, more than we love our own lives. We cannot bear seeing Him cry. So they all bring Him the gifts and little food and everything and He would just throw at all and cry. Whatever they give Him, He would throw and cry. And finally one day when they saw like this, when there was no other way to pacify Him they could think up. They just say Hari, Hari and then He smiled. This is the secret. All we have to do his chant the holy name, He not only stops crying. He cast a very pleasing and charming smile upon us. In this way everyday the young ladies and the older ladies as well they simply wait for the moment, when Nimai would cry. Then they were all make a circle and started chanting and clapping and then He would smile and that smile would just fill their hearts with greatest pleasure in love. So in this way Lord Gaurachandra gave hint to the world of His great mission.
During His younger years, He pretended to not be a devotee. He had a very great reasons for this is, why? He pretended to be a great scholar. When he was just the young boy, he was scholarly that He could defeat in logic and argument, even the greatest pundits in the whole world. And when the devotees who see such a great boy is the scholar, so why does not He chant the names of the lord? Why does not He worship Krishna? They would hanker in devotion that I can be make somehow or other this boy, He attracts our heart Just like Krishna attracts our heart. Why he is not a devotee? If only He is a devotee He could make the whole world devotees. Sometimes Srivasa Thakur and Mukunda, they would come to Lord Caitanya and they would say, why are you wasting your life, whether all these word jugglery and grammar and scholarship. Why do not you worship Krishna? That is the goal of life. And Nimai would say thank you very much. He said with your blessings only I’ll be able to be a devotee of Krishna. He was teaching us by His example that without the blessing of the great souls no one can be a devotee of Krishna. No one should attempt to be a devotee of Krishna, without first seeking the blessings of the great souls. He said with your blessings, you wait and see someday I’ll be such a good devotee……
Meeting with Srila Isvara-Puri
It is described that when He met spiritual master in Gaya. He went to Gaya to perform the Sarvana ceremony for His diseased father Jagannath Mishra. He met His Guru Srila Isvarapuri, at that time He manifest to the world the divine symptoms of love of god. And at that time when He had no other interest in anything except purifying the world by distributing the pure sound of God’s name. See how the lord model to His life in this way. He showed us by His example, how important it is to accept the spiritual master in order to make advancement in devotional life. The supreme Lord is Jagad Guru, He does not need guru. But He refused to exhibit the symptoms of pure love of god until after He accepted initiation and the blessings of His spiritual master. This was His lila to instruct us of the importance of accepting the mercy of the great soul and how He served His spiritual master. Although He is purusottam, He is the supreme of all beings. He is the supreme enjoyer. Krishna says in Bhagavad-Gita
Everything is my property and everything is meant for my enjoyment. He took the role of you and me to show us to how make spiritual advancement. He took the position of humble menial servant of the spiritual master. It is described that when Isvarapuri, when they met lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu requested please accept me as your disciple. Isvarapuri, he was a pure devotee of Krishna. He knew that Lord Caitanya was god. He said, you are my worshipable Lord life after life, how can I be your guru. You are my eternal master. I am your eternal servant. He was crying with tears of love and lord Caitanya said you are my servant but for the shake of the world this is the way you can best serve me by being my master and by accepting me as your servant. So with tears of love in their eyes, Isvarapuri initiated the lord in the chanting of the holy name.
It is described, one day Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was cooking and He has just finished cooking Prasad for Himself and Isvarapuri came in to His room, unexpectedly. Lord Caitanya immediately said you must take this Prasad. Isvarapuri said but there is only enough Prasad for one person. This is for you. I can go elsewhere and beg. But the lord Garurachandra, He said no no. You must take, you are my guru. You are a great sadhu. Isvarapuri said, but everything I take I first offer to you. You are my god. How can I take before you? Lord Caitanya said you are my Guru. How can I take before you? He said guru offer everything to Krishna, how can I take before you? Sometimes Lord’s pastimes get a little complicated in this way, you know? But then Lord Caitanya His love for His devotees is so strong. That in order to please Lord Caitanya Isvarapuri accepts the position of eating first. And then Lord Caitanya cook very quickly, in fact it is described that the goddess of fortune did the cooking and practically instantly there was another Prasad. And they both took Prasad with great joy with each other.
It is described that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu He wanted on a pilgrimage to the birth place of His spiritual master, I believe it at Kumarhata. He went to that place and He collected dirt form the ground of the land, where his guru maharaja was born and He kept that dirt with Him and everyday He would eat a particle of that dirt. And while He eat it, the tears of lover were flowing from His eyes. His heart was just filled with great joy and He would think and he would say that this is the sacred soil where the feet of my Guru Maharaja touched. This is the sacred place where he appeared in this word. Therefore taking this soil, I’ll purify my existence. This is the glory of the love of god for His devotees.
Krishna loves His devotees so much that His greatest pleasure is to eat the dirt from the ground that touched the feet of His devotees. This was the beauty of the Lord Caitanya’s love and this is the example He showed of how one should respect and honor and be graciously thankful to the mercy of the spiritual master. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu after His meeting with Isvarapuri, He assumed the real manifestation of the Yuga Avatar at that time. It is described that everyday He would gather thousands and thousands of people and where there was His armed raised very gracefully. He would begin to dance and following behind Him everyone would dance with great beauty and they would all vibrate from the core of their hearts the sweet sound of the names of Krishna. In this way anyone who saw the dancing of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, anyone who heard the beauty of His chanting were struck with wonder. It is described that every morning just before the sunrise He would gather His devotees and they would wander through the streets of Navadvipa chanting the holy name and inviting everyone to perfect their lives through this very simple and easy process.
The internal reason of Lord Chaitanya’s appearance
Lochandas Thakur he prayed, “parama koruëa, pahü dui jana nitäi gauracandra” Lord Caitanya supremely merciful. “kevala änanda-kanda” because He has given a process which anyone in Kali Yuga can follow. Simply chant, dance, and take nice Prasad. That is all what is required to completely purify…….. So in this way Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by His words, by His example He established the Yuga Dharma. But it is also described a more esoteric and intimate reason for the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It is described in Golok Vrindavana Lord Sri Krishna was seeing that His most beloved devotee Srimati Radha Rani was experiencing such love and such happiness in His presence. Now it is described that Krishna expands Himself as Radha and Krishna. Sri Radha Rani is none different than Krishna. She is not simply a devotee. She is god in full. But the one god in order to taste ultimate pleasure of love, He expands Himself in two forms, one is the lover and one is the beloved and then he expands himself into a innumerable tining little forms called the Jivas. And the Jivas are all meant to also share that loving exchange of the love by assisting the love of Radha and Krishna. By assisting God’s love for himself and that is our position. Our natural and constitutional position is that we are part of the god and we are meant to give pleasure to the whole. And the greatest way of giving pleasure to the whole is assisting god and enjoying Himself. By assisting Radha in offering her to the supreme love to the supreme beloved. It is actually quite easy to understand. If your heart is simple. If your heart is not simple then it is very difficult. Simple for the simple. Complicated for the complicated. Now when Lord Krishna divided Himself into Radha and Krishna. Lord Krishna began to think I am the supreme enjoyer, I am the embodiment Sachidananda Vigrah. I am the embodiment of all bliss. So Sri Radha Rani she appears even more bliss full than me, how is that possible. I am the embodiment of everyone cruising unlimited bliss and by her seeing me, she experiences more happiness than me. How is this possible? He began to wander. What is it? That is the nature of Sri Radha’s love. What is that about my self that attracts her to such an unlimited infinity degree and what is the sweetness of the happiness that she is experiencing in her love for me? So His divine lila in order to experience the answer for the these three questions. “Sri Krishna Caitanya, Radha Krishna nahi anya”. This means that Lord Krishna, who expanded him self is two Radha and Krishna. Radha and Krishna assumed one form as Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Krishna told Radha Rani, He is going to do this. He said Srimati Radha Rani in the age of Kali Yuga I am going to advent to establish the Yuga Dharma, Hari Nama kritan. That should everyone think. But really I want to come because I want to come in my form but I want to assume the sweetness of your heart and taste your love. Srimati Radharani said, yes. If you taste the sweetness of my love then whenever you think of yourself, you will be in such ecstasy of love, you will just fall to the ground and start rolling in the dirt and I cannot tolerate the idea of you falling to the ground and rolling in the dirt of the earth. Therefore if you come with my heart, I will cover your body with my luster to protect you, when you rolling in the ground. So you do not have to touch the earth and there will be no pain on you. Therefore Krishna, who is blackish came with the heart of Radha Rani but He also that blackish complexion which is covered by the golden luster of Srimati Radha Rani to protect His body from the ecstatic symptoms that she knew, He would exhibit.
So in this way the supreme Lord appeared to show the world the supreme manifestation of God’s love. He appeared as the supreme devotee and how fortunate we are that by His causeless mercy, He is touching our lives and giving us the opportunity to love god through the simple process of worshiping Him and chanting His holy name. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is called the Patitapavana Avatar. That means He has specifically come to reach out the most fallen. The only disqualification from getting the mercy of Lord Caitanya is false pride. If you are proud, you will not accept the mercy that He is giving. If you consider yourself to be fallen, if you consider yourself to be nothing, then you can easily accept with your heart His mercy. The great Acarya Narottamdasa Thakur, he has prayed “patita-pävana-hetu tava avatära/mo sama patita prabhu nä päibe ära” this means my dear Lord you are the deliver of the most fallen. You have specifically incarnated to deliver the most fallen. And my feeling is like this. That you can soaks the whole universe and I do not think you will find a more fallen soul than me. Therefore my claim to your mercy is first. You see just like water. Water gradually and naturally flows to the lowest point. Is it not? This is the nature of the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The nature of Lord Caitanya’s mercy is that He extends Himself to the lowest point. To those who are most humbled.
Our mood on this Auspicious Day
So this is the great opportunity we have. And on this most glorious evening of Gaura purnima let us meditate and let us take very seriously, how to accept the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by following in His foot steps. By humbling oneself as He did before guru, by accepting the position that without the blessings of the vaishnavas, love of god is not possible. Through the process of humbling our self before the great soul, we can receive in full the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And what is that mercy. That we receive the holy name. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught us
“tåëäd api sunécena
taror iva sahiñëunä
kértanéyaù sadä hariù”
Caitanya-caritamrita Antya 6.239
One should chant the name of the Lord humble like a blade of grass, more tolerate than tree, ready to offer all respect to others and to expect none in return. Forget about trying to be an advanced devotee. Forget about trying to be a saint. Lord Caitanya did not like this idea. Lord Caitanya simply wanted us to become the servant of the servant of the servant of the Lord and chant the name in that spirit. That should be only our aspiration. Because it is that aspiration alone. That opens our heart to really and truly accept the mercy of the lord.
So Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taught us by his example. This process internally and externally the process He taught us was there are two ways to chant the holy name. When Lord Caitanya was in Emlital Vrindavana, He sat on a secluded place and with His beads; He simple fixed His mind on the name of Krishna and start the Japa. But for the common masses and in His own life, He emphasized the process of Sankirtan. In the congregation of others with raised arms, gracefully to chant the holy names and factually there is no greater way of glorifying Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu than to congregationally chant His holy name. There is nothing pleases Him more than this than to simply accept the gift that He has given us. So tonight is His birthday. It is generally the practice that in someone’s birth day you offer Him a gift. Now, what you offer to God as a gift? What does he need? He does not need anything? The question is, what does He want? He wants you to become blissful eternally in His loving service. And He has giving you by His own mercy the way can become blissful in His eternal loving service. By coming together. Yajnaya Sankirtan priyah. Those with sufficient intelligences says in Kali Yuga, worship the lord through the process of congregationally chanting the holy name. Sankirtan means we come together in the mood of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His followers and we dance and we chant. Now Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has also taught the essential necessity of Kritan as well. Our kirtan should not simply be a dance. We should know that the purpose of dancing is to express our devotion to Krishna. Every movement of our arms, every movement of our legs, every movement of our heads, every part of our body, not the simply stand still. It is to dance, but it is to dance as a way gracefully expressing our devotion to god.
Our Mood during Sankirtan
Lord Caitanya dance through His arms raised. Extending His heart through His arms to the Lord, who is above everyone. When Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu would dance in the congregation of devotees, He was not simply a wild, disorganized situation. But it was very well organized. Why was very well organized? Because that was very simple, nothing complicated. Not that you have to go to the dance school and learn to be many years to how to dance in Kirtan. You can learn in one day, in one minute. You just have to listen. Very simple but there would be a leader. Just like in chanting, where there is a leader, who sings and there was a leader who dances. And when we sing we should sing from our heart, is an offering an expression of our love. We should be sing like a baby crying for a child. When we dance we should be reaching out for the mercy of God.
So what we should to do is we should learn how to do Kirtan nicely together. Not that everyone just do what they want to do. Let us all dance together. Let us all chant together. When we chant, we should chant knowing that Lord in our heart and Radha Gopinath in altar, they are listening. We should chant with the sweetest and nicest voice we can. If everyone sings like that how sweet the sound will be! We should also be very loud. We should be with enthusiasm. We should try just like in the holi celebration. Our chanting should be meant to enliven ecstasy of all the other devotees in the Kirtan by our devotion. When we dance, our dancing should be in the same way. That we should have certain formations and we all follow those formations of coming in and out, we can do like that. Sometimes coming in and out, sometimes going in and out of circles. No one should be just be standing. What is the use of this just standing? You can stand, if you like but what is the use? You see sometimes we dance with such wildness that people my god, I am just can stand here. This is dangerous. I can get killed in this kirtan. They do not have faith. You know, even if you do get killed, very auspicious. People without that faith they get afraid, when they see us just swinging around and beating each other with our bodies. Should not be like that. Should be very sweet, very graceful, and we all going in a same motion together like waves for the pleasure of the lord. I remember one time, Srila Prabhupada there was a big kirtan, there was some big devotees and they were dancing and they were jumping with each other. Too big Americans, very gigantic Americans. Then everyone was thinking, yes this is very fun. You know. And Srila Prabhupada was at his Vyasasana. He got up from Vyasasana and stood up and he said, stop the kirtan. There was 600 devotees in that temple room. Everyone was thinking yes this is good kirtan, why Srila Prabhupada stopped it. Then Srila Prabhupada he raised his hands and he said, you should go like this. Means there should be sweet and should be beautiful, it should be graceful. It should be united. We should feel unified in our chanting unified in our consciousness to glorify Krishna. Express our love for Krishna. After all the same people would say what did this Hare Krishna is just dancing. When we go down the street, they just close the door and sometimes say what are these Hare Krishna is dancing. But the same people they pay hundred rupees to go see some women doing the Bhratnatyam. It’s not they do not like dancing, it is not understand the devotees dancing. But if the dancing is like Lord Caitanya’s dancing only the hardest heart will not melt. Even sometimes they will melt. Just upon seeing the Kirtan of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s devotees, just by hearing the sounds of His names.
So how can we give Lord Caitanya the best gift? The best gift we can give Him is to put our life in our soul into congregational chanting His holy name. I have, you know that tonight is Gaura Purnima and it is described that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally appears on the Arati of this night. This is the most important arati of the year. This is the Maha Kirtana of the year. Traditionally the Gaudiavaishnavas this is the night they wait 364 days a year, just for the kirtan. Just for the Arati. And they put their life, their heart, and their soul. Everything Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given us on His birthday, we can give Him each and everyone of us as an individual as well as the unit, we can give him the most glorious gift by tumultuously vibrating His name and by chanting together, expressing our devotion and love to our every movement of our body and meditating like this before the beautiful golden form of Sri Gaurasundara. So would everyone like to do this? Tonight, not only tonight but at this very moment we all have the opportunity of presenting from our hearts, our gift to love on the birthday of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This Mahakirtana, this mahaarati, let us make one, let’s make it in such a way that we never forget it for the rest of our life, with great enthusiasm, with great devotion, with great emotion, and with great gratitude, let us chant the holy names, let us dance, let’s unite in love on one another in the glorification of the holy name of Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Thank you very much.